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Old 06-06-2010, 05:28 AM
Uluc Ali Uluc Ali is offline
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Angry My Sony nwz-s544 review

The Screen

The screen is made out of candy. It got scratched almost instantly in the first week. I usually carry it in my pocket and the damage is getting worse and worse, all smudgy too. Why wouldn’t they bundle this thing with the silicon cover. It is too late to buy one after the damage is done! To compare, I have a crappy Samsung phone and even that has a better scratch resistant screen. Wow.

Another thing that is weird is the flickering. It starts to flicker when I turn the device on, but not every time. It wasn’t there when I first got it so I thought I did something wrong, but then I read I am not the only one with this problem.

Third problem is the noise. I tried this over and over and now I am sure. At the 4th brightness level it makes a hissing noise. Why o why did they not use a better screen?

Battery Life

I usually use it for running. So after a 20 minute run, the batter is gone down one teeth. This makes it what? 80 minutes on one charge.


Speakers

One reason I got this one over its cheaper brother is it has speakers. The speaker on my Sony Ericsson was just awesome; loud and clear. After I loaded my walkman with music I tried to give it a go when my friends were around. Oh my God! I turned it off immediately. It is so tiny and annoying. I can’t use it at all.

Buttons

I can never use this thing when it is in my pocket. I skip a song or stop it when I try to change its position (its square-ish so it always moves in the pocket). Also the volume rocker do not work when the hold is on, unlike the walkman phones. That is just dumb. Even when the device it in my hands it is difficult to use them.

Sound

Sound quality is awesome. If you can hear it. Actually this device doesn’t need volume rocker buttons since I always use it in the highest possible volume. When I was using it with the bundled headphones, I couldn’t hear a thing in the train or metro. Then I spent another 50 Euros for Sony headphones. Now at least I can hear my songs.

One thing I loved in my sony ericsson was the Mega Bass. Even with the bundled headphones it was stunning. How come this thing does not have it? All it has is a crappy Unique equalizer preset, and when I choose it volume goes down. I use it when I want to go to sleep on a train.

Conclusion


I have never been so disappointed with a Sony device before. I used a Walkman, Discman, and a Sony Ericsson walkman phone. They were all great, especially the strong bass sound in all of them. I was about to buy a Cowon iAudio 9 4GB (100 Euros, same price as the sony) but it wasn’t available in the store at the moment. My friend told me to go with an ipod shuffle and I didn’t listen. It would have been better with any other thing but the nwz-s544.
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2010, 09:51 AM
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Strephon Alkhalikoi Strephon Alkhalikoi is offline
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I have a 545 (same as yours except with 16GB) and...

Screen: I can't say yay or nay on this one. I keep my unit in a case when not in use, and have it in a soft cloth bag (that came from my NW-E507) when in use.

Battery Life: I don't know if you charged up your battery, but I've gotten 25 hours out of my unit, and I still have one bar left.

Speakers: Agreed. I didn't get the unit because of the speakers but because of the physical size. Easier to hold in my hand.

Buttons: This is a matter of personal preference. I tend to take mine out of my pocket when I want to change a song or volume. I also tend not to use the hold button.

Sound: Agreed, for the most part. Sony does have Mega Bass. It's the "Clear Bass" option on the equalizer. Sony renamed it and gave it three levels instead of two. I have mine set all the way up. Also, if I recall, the European units have the AVLS on, and you have to shut it off in order to crank the volume up.

Your friend's recommendation of an iPod Shuffle is idiotic. No screen, limited playback options...blechh. Only thing a shuffle has going for it is that it's small. But so is a Sansa Clip, and the Clip has a screen.
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:31 AM
Uluc Ali Uluc Ali is offline
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To be fair about the battery life, it goes about 15 hours. But 20 minute use did drain 25% of the battery, so the battery icon says :S

I have to add something about the interface though. It doesn't show the length of a song. I wonder who thought that wasn't important.
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:54 PM
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UlucAli: Sorry that you find the Sony S not to your liking. A shame since you mention the "sound is awesome". While I do not have the Sony S series [I have the sister E series in 16GB], I am extremely familiar with the S, so a counterpoint discussion....

Screen:
The screen indeed is a bit prone to scratches, but no worse than other devices I find. But then again, generic screen protectors and cases are available for pennies on the dollar on ebay, etc. My own Sony E screen looks like new as I had a spare piece of screen protector lying around and was able to cut it down to a perfect size.

I have never experienced/seen/noticed the flickering you mention or the hiss. I am thinking you may have a defective/lemon unit.

Battery:
I routinely get 20-24 hours of battery life out of my Sony E, using HQ LAME rips and EQ and Dynamic Normalizer. The Sony S has a larger, higher mah battery so one should get more than what I get from the E. Possibly your device is defective as mentioned above?

Speakers:
Your complaint/observation about the speakers on the Sony S is valid as the sound is indeed tinny and crappy IMO, but I must ask you: What exactly did you expect from on-board speakers, especially in a device at this price point? TBH, the reason I myself chose the smaller, thinner, lower-profile and sexier looking Sony E series is that I knew that the speakers on the S would be lousy, I would have zero need for them and I felt that for me, the Sony S was too large a device. I am not sure I find your expectation of much better speakers on the S to be a really reasonable one, especially for the price of the Sony S.

Buttons:
I must disagree with you on the buttons. While I have no great love for the Sony MickeyMouse design style, I don't have an issue with the buttons myself. In fact, I routinely am able to pretty accurately adjust the volume, pause, use FF and REW while my Sony E is in my back pocket - important to me as I am a competitive pool player and like to practice to music, without being disturbed by having to take the device out. But again, 6 billion people on earth - we are bound to have different views on stuff like this...

Sound/Volume:
Clearly the issue you find is not the problem of the Sony S, but rather a reflection of the patronizing EU volume limits imposed on portable music players. Blaming Sony for a lousy political mandate is really not fair at all IMO.

The sonically identical Sony E that I have never sees volume above 16-18 these days using any of my IEMs in my sig - the music is quite satisfactorily loud I can assure you!

IMO, I also find the Sony EQ to be absolutely top notch for any portable DAP, let alone one in this price point. It also has 2 user custom presets, something missing on many much higher priced devices.

In conclusion, I do believe that you may have a lemon/defective device and quite frankly, the volume issues you are experiencing and blame Sony for is misdirected - look instead to the EU and its silly legislation.

Also, while I do not know exactly what you paid for your Sony S, to be fair IMO, both the Sony E/S are amazing players, excellent values for the money, but they are indeed lower-tier devices in terms of a gee-whiz feature set. But this is to be expected IMO. In the USA, 16GB of Sony E can be had for as low as $70USD and 16GB of Sony S can be found for as low as $85USD. At these price points I feel these Sonys are tremendously great deals offering amazing performance and value.

And also, to be fair, I am no Sony fanboy. There are many things you do not even mention which absolutely drive me crazy about the Sony E/S [inability to delete songs from the device, inability to perform basic playlist tasks like editing/creating/modifying, inability to append songs to the now playing queue], but overall, I am so pleased with my E that I am willing to work around and overlook these shortcomings.

In any event, it is indeed a shame you do not like your Sony S. Good luck on your search for another DAP and hope you find something that really makes you happy!

cheers,
-lestatar

PS: Your comment re: the missing time remaining indicator for the Sony S/E is also valid and well taken. But again, totally not a deal killer for me in any way at all - the progress bar allows me to make a nice educated guess as to how much time is remaining in a given song. Yes, I would like a time remaining indicator, but this is non-essential for me, again, at the bargain basement price I paid for an otherwise excellent E.

Also, what bitrates/file types are you using on the S?

And as to the Cowon i9 mention. I have listened to this device extensively in stores and it is quite great sounding to me. It is however, a significant step up in price. You mention 100Euros for the Cowon i9 at 4GB, while you paid that same amount for the Sony S with 8GB, twice the capacity. Also, the i9 is indeed a much fancier device with its hybrid tactile/touchscreen system for UI. Sexier than the Sony E/S for sure, but I have been told, it can also be quite annoying in actual use.

Finally, I agree with Strephon - DO NOT take advice from your friend who recommends the iPod Shuffle. :-)

Your mileage may vary! And again, best wishes in your search for a new DAP.
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Last edited by lestatar; 06-06-2010 at 02:18 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2010, 05:24 AM
joao_16 joao_16 is offline
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who is the best? SONY NWZ-S545 or Samsung YP-R0???
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2010, 07:06 AM
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lestatar lestatar is offline
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No such thing joao_16. Your question is like asking someone which car is the best one. :-)

6 billion people on this planet - you will probably get a lot of different opinions.

IMO, the best mp3 player is the one that most closely meets your needs/wants/perceptions of sound. There is absolutely no such thing as the "Perfect mp3 Player".

More to your question then...I don't have an S545, I have the sister E345 device. For me, the E345 is the better device between the 2 - I have no need for basically useless speakers, I don't need or want FM/Voice recording and while the longer battery life of the S545 is a bit better versus the E345, it comes at the price of the S545 being a lot bigger and bulkier compared to the pretty thin and compact E345. Soundwise, the S and the E series are identical.

I don't have the Samsung R0, but I did look at it briefly. It seems that the external card support is OK and the Samsungs generally come with very good sound enhancements but there are reports of some Samsung device quirks that probably would annoy me a lot.

Sorry to be so vague, but really, you need to think about what the most important aspects of a DAP are to you...

Good luck and cheers!
-lestatar
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  #7  
Old 06-29-2010, 03:57 PM
joao_16 joao_16 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joao_16 View Post
i'm sorry but the really question i want to do its who had the best sound and what play more lauder...i want to buy one mp3 who have that


So the right question i have for you guys its acording to the sound quality who is the best?

Sansa Fuze or Samsung YP-R0??

If you have in mind a better mp3 for sound quality tell me...the maximum i can buy its about 110$
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:24 PM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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Between the Sansa Fuze & Samsung dap's the Samsung sounds better due to the EQ, without it being used - they pretty much sound equal.

Between the Sony and Samsung players - the SQ is equal, if the EQ is on or off on both - both rock.

All 3 compared , all sound pretty much the same without the EQ being active, but the EQ makes the Sony and Samsung players sound better than the Fuze.

Rockbox the Fuze - and all 3 are equal, w/the Fuze having a few more options than the other 2.

Confusing, ain't it?!?!?!
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2010, 02:43 AM
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While I haven't had nearly as much experience in these matters as TDS, I do agree completely with his breakdown. Notice that the common theme in his breakdown is that most global, reputable brand DAPs, without EQ, will basically sound pretty similar to most people's ears - they definitely do to me ... :-)

It is indeed the quality of the EQ/sound enhancements a particular device offers which really IMO separate players that sound pretty much alike without EQ.

Of all the DAPs I have tried/owned, I do find the Sony EQ/sound enhancements to be the most effective and pleasing to my ears.

But a huge caveat here is Rockbox. My Rockboxed Fuze sounds much better when compared to the Fuze' original firmware - more importantly, I am able to achieve sound on the RB'd Fuze that equals or rivals my generally beloved Sony E345. This is in addition to all the other amazing things Rockbox can do. For an "unstable" release for Fuze V2 devices, my own experience with RB has been amazingly reliable.

It IS confusing but the bottom line is this: all of the players discussed on this thread are fine devices. I don't really think one can go very wrong with any of them. The Fuze has a definite edge because it is the only one that can be Rockboxed. Still, if one is not interested in Rockbox, the Fuze default FW and sound is pretty darn good.

Good luck!
-lestatar
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2010, 04:30 AM
joao_16 joao_16 is offline
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so...can you help me finding a website that i can buy the samsung for a good price and that can be shipped to portugal??in maximum i pay 105$
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  #11  
Old 06-30-2010, 06:17 PM
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Pixmania is selling the Samsung YP-P0 8GB at 85€ (79€ the pink one).
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2010, 03:19 PM
joao_16 joao_16 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meetooman View Post
Pixmania is selling the Samsung YP-P0 8GB at 85€ (79€ the pink one).

i know but pixmania don't send to my island...açores in english azores
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  #13  
Old 07-01-2010, 03:56 PM
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meetooman meetooman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joao_16 View Post
i know but pixmania don't send to my island...açores in english azores
I'm sorry, it's seems more complicated then.
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  #14  
Old 10-28-2010, 03:58 AM
stonecaper stonecaper is offline
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I am Getting Approx 15 Hours Out Of my S545 now.So Its faulty right?
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  #15  
Old 10-28-2010, 05:12 AM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonecaper View Post
I am Getting Approx 15 Hours Out Of my S545 now.So Its faulty right?
Sure looks like it.....mine used to last at least 30 hours.
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